|It's nice to see someone reach a pilgrimage.|
We had a busy day ahead of us, though, so after the swim we got busy and hit the first site of the day.
Are you familiar with the Kensington Runestone? I hadn’t heard of it until I joined Matt’s family. Apparently there are many remnants of Viking visitors all up and down the East Coast, but this rock with a scary message is farther west than anything else that’s been found. It was discovered in 1898 in the roots of an uprooted tree. It reads
8 Geats and 22 Norwegians on acquisition venture from Vinland far to the west We had traps by 2 shelters one day's travel to the north from this stone We were fishing one day After we came home found 10 men red with blood and dead AVM [Ave Maria] Deliver from evils. I have 10 men at the inland sea/lake to look after our ship 14 days travel from this wealth/property Year of our Lord 1362 [translation by Robert Nielsen, 2001]
|John considers the "preponderance of evidence" video unnecessary.|
John, however, is a true believer, and I have to say I am ready to accept it as valid and true myself.
|Maia checks the work done by lesser historians.|
We spent a lot of time at the Runestone museum (and dropped some cash money there, as well). Unfortunately, we then lost some more time wandering around the wilds of central Minnesota trying to outwit a detour and getting more and more lost. The one good thing about this detour is that if we hadn’t been flailing around, we wouldn’t have driven past the Swensson Farm, which is a fantastic brick farmhouse in the middle of NOWHERE. I regret not taking a picture of it. It was built by a creative and kind of eccentric Swedish inventor and his daughter; the state now has it and is working to rehabilitate it. It was a fun surprise to stumble upon.
|Maia stands in the footsteps of history at Birch Coulee.|
Then we had to hurry, hurry to our campsite at Split Rock Creek State Park. We got to this one a little later than we would like, but we had gotten into a routine of putting up the tent, and it wasn’t hard to do it at twilight. Our campsite had its own little dock, and this is where Maia said,
|Reading on Split Rock Lake|
There were no bugs. We were so lucky with weather and bugs on this trip. We never got rained on, and even here next to a pond (which, I have just learned, is the largest body of water in Pipestone County), there were no mosquitoes or biting flies. We got our tent up quick and had some time to read before we went to sleep. With the tent flap open, we could hear fish jumping in the pond, and several times in the night trains went up or down the track several miles away.